Lily meets Ed at a party, and on their second date, he proposes. She's a lawyer, he's an up-and-coming artist. They own a beautiful flat in London and mix with all the right people.
But Lily has a secret. Something from her past, that is soon to collide with her present. And she thinks her new husband is hiding something too.
The vows they made will soon be tested to the very limits.
'Til death us do part ....'
Welcome to the Blog Tour for My Husband's Wife by Jane Corry, to be published by Viking Books ~ Penguin Random House in paperback on 25 August 2016, and available for download as an eBook on 26 May 2016.
My Husband's Wife is an intriguing and clever mix of crime, psychological thriller and dark domestic relationships. Jane Corry's debut really took me by surprise. I think I expected less tension and more domestic strife, instead I got a whole helping of flawed, unpredictable and often unreliable narrators coupled with a complex, sometimes challenging storyline that feels very new and quite different.
This author 'does' feelings very well. I worked in a secure setting for many years, and when lead
character Lily enters a prison for the first time, her feelings are portrayed so very well. That tense, frightening feeling as doors clang shut behind you, as you pass prisoners on a corridor and just know what is going through their heads. Expertly done and adds a feeling of authenticity to this unusual story.
Told over two time scales, My Husband's Wife begins with newly married solicitor Lily. She's been assigned a high-profile case, she has to defend a convicted murderer as he appeals his sentence. Lily's only been married for a few weeks, she's only known her husband Ed for a short time, but there is no feeling of newly-married excitement coming from either of them.
Carla is their ten year old neighbour. She lives with her mother and doesn't enjoy life. She's singled out at school because of her name, her swarthy skin and the fact that she doesn't own the correct pencil case. When Carla and Lily spark up a friendship, that appears to be quite innocent, they have no idea what far reaching consequences it will have.
Fast forward fifteen years and Lily and Ed are parents. Carla is returning from college and their lives will touch again, and explode, and the prologue that the reader read right back at the beginning of the back is resurrected.
My Husband's Wife covers many issues. I didn't like many of the characters, I'm not sure if I was supposed to and to be honest, I'm pretty fond of a story populated with so many undesirables ... strange person that I am!
My Husband's Wife is an 'onion' novel. Peel away one layer and you'll find more and more, and each layer is essential to the story. Sometimes complicated and touching on some serious issues, this is a very fine debut novel.
I'm delighted to welcome Jane Corry to Random Things today, she's written a guest post for you to enjoy ...
How truthful are you in your marriage?
If you had a traditional wedding ceremony, the chances are that it would have included a line about being faithful for as long as you live. It's a tall order - especially if you include truth as being part of the whole package.
I certainly do. In fact in my book, that means never telling untruths of any description. Not even white lies.
Somehow over the ages, white lies have become acceptable. 'Do you like my dress/' is often a question which demands a bit of fudging.
It's the same when someone puts a meal in front of you. 'Delicious,' you might say, even if you don't care for it. In fact, the more I dislike something, the more I sometimes wax effusive out of courtesy and politeness.
But when does a white lie become dangerous?
Before I married my second husband, I told him how important it was to me that we told each other the truth. Not even small fibs, I warned him. He took me at my word. Sometimes I didn't like it. What was wrong with tangerine lipstick? Sometimes he didn't like it either. I didn't care for his heavy metal music? Really?
The result is that we have no secrets between us. We might not always like what we hear. But it is there - out in the open. It's a lovely honest feeling.
And that's exactly what goes wrong for Lily and Ed. As naive newlyweds back at the turn of the millennium, they start out by trying to please each other. But in so doing, they are not being true to each other. Or, more crucially, to themselves.
Each tiny fib grows and grows until their lives become impossible. What is to be done? I'm not going to lie to you. You need to read 'My Husband's Wife' to find out!
Meanwhile if you'd like to tell me about the biggest white lie you've ever told in your marriage, do email me at email@example.com or Tweet to @JaneCorryAuthor
Hope to hear from you!
Jane Corry is a writer and journalist who has written regularly for numerous newspapers and magazines, including the Daily Telegraph Weekend section, the Mail on Sunday and Woman. She has spent time working as the writer-in-residence of a high-security prison for men, an experience that helped inspire My Husband's Wife, her debut thriller.
Jane runs regular writing workshops and speaks at literary festivals all over the world, including the Women's Fiction Festival in Matera, Italy.
Until her recent move to Devon, she was a tutor in creative writing at Oxford University.
Follow her on Twitter @JaneCorryAuthor